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PON PON. The interplay between sunlight and towering treees creates gloomy shadows on the ruins of the Pon Pon chapel of ease in Colleton County, part of which used to be known as St. Bartholomew's Parish (see S.C. Encyclopedia below). Contributing photographer Michael Kaynard took a trip over the weekend to look at a lot of coastal ruins that remind us how close Revolutionary times really are. See more of his work.

Issue 5.10 | Monday, Jan. 7, 2013
New dog in the house

:: Junior Achievement and resolutions

:: The myth of big government

:: Next step in health care

:: Gizmos, camellias, writing, more

:: St. Bartholomew's Parish


:: FEEDBACK: On resolutions

:: SPOTLIGHT: Charleston Green Commercial

:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next

:: THE LIST: Dealing with email

:: QUOTE: Human condition


ABOUT US offers insightful community comment and good news on events each week. It cuts through the information clutter to offer the best of what's happening locally. What readers say



Junior Achievement can help kids to accomplish resolutions

Special to Charleston Currents

JAN. 7, 2013 -- If you want to help young people keep their New Year's resolutions, Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina can lend a hand.


A recent survey released by University of Scranton "Journal of Clinical Psychology" showed more than one third of Americans reported they've made money related resolutions for 2013.

That makes sense. Spending less and saving more is always a popular New Year's new year's resolution. Junior Achievement's programs teach important financial lessons to youths, such as how to save and how to budget through interactive and engaging programs delivered by community volunteers.

Linda Art, current board chair and vice president of loss prevention at Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union, says it's important to get acquainted early with good financial practices.

"It's never too early to become a more financially responsible consumer and Junior Achievement has the tools necessary to instill responsible spending and savings habits and to help prevent bad habits before they begin," she said.

Art noticed how JA's programs made a difference to students at Summerville Catholic School: "JA's volunteer delivered programs help young people become financially responsible adults."

Junior Achievement empowers youth to own their economic success through turn-key programs. JA Volunteers equip young people with the tools they need to effectively navigate paths to smart money management.

Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina impacted over 8,000 Coastal SC students in 52 schools in the 2011-12 academic year and is on track to reach over 10,000 elementary, middle and high school students this school year.

To learn more about Junior Achievement, its programs, how they can come to your classroom or to volunteer, contact Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina at 843-745-7050 or online at:

Chad Vail is president of Junior Achievement of Coastal South Carolina.

The myth of big government
By ANDY BRACK, publisher

JAN. 7, 2013 -- As South Carolina legislators prepare to return to the Statehouse for a new session, they should clear from their minds any notions that the state has "big government."

It doesn't. To suggest the state's departments and agencies are laden with pork, waste and abuse -- and to govern based on that assumption -- has as much validity as a kid believing the moon is made of cheese.

Sure, there may be some functions of state government today that some legislators might not like, such as providing a high-quality public education to all students or having an agency to look out for the state's health and environment. But after 10 years of rhetoric about fat by Gov. Mark Sanford and his successor Gov. Nikki Haley as well as a legislature obsessed with tax cuts fueled by a GOP love fest with anti-tax think tank guru Grover Norquist, the idea of a bloated government is nonsensical. They've cut and cut and cut.

Look back at the state's budget during the tenure of GOP Gov. Carroll Campbell, surely no fan of big government. Back in 1989-90, the state's General Fund budget -- the funds that come from state taxes -- was $3.363 billion. If that number were adjusted for inflation, the equivalent number in 2012 dollars would be $5.924 billion. And the General Fund budget for the current year? Almost the same at $6.088 billion. But remember, the current year's taxes are supporting services to 4.6 million people, compared to the 3.5 million who lived here in 1990.

"State government isn't the huge slug perpetuated by some lawmakers."

In other words, the state's tax dollars have grown with inflation, but are serving 31 percent more people. That doesn't sound like a lot of bloating. Rather, state government has adapted to the resources it has.

Another indicator state government isn't the huge slug perpetuated by some lawmakers: In Campbell's day, the state employed more than 80,000 people. Now, it employs less than 58,000, according to Carlton B. Washington, head of the S.C. State Employees Association.

But while the number of state employees has gone down significantly, taxpayers continue to demand services from those who remain.

"That need [for government services] exists because taxpayers are not interested in taking their families to eat at a restaurant that is not inspected by DHEC, nor are they interested in traveling on South Carolina's roads and highways without the oversight and protection afforded by South Carolina troopers," Washington said. "Taxpayers are not advocating closing the Department of Social Services and consequently the invaluable protection the agency provides, especially to abused and neglected children and seniors."

If you want to really take a look at how the concept of bloated government is false, just look at how some agencies have fared over the last 23 years.

  • State Treasurer: The agency had 71 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) in 1990, compared to 40 today. Back then, the budget was $3.5 million, which would be $6.2 million in 2012 dollars. Today's actual budget: $1.5 million.

  • Attorney General: Had 152 FTEs in 1990 paid for with General Fund dollars; has 107 FTEs today. The 1990 budget was $10.8 million, which would be worth $19 million now. Today's actual state-funded budget: $7.4 million.

  • Health and Environmental Control: Had 2,236 FTEs in 1990; has 1,165 FTEs today paid with state funds. Its 1990 budget was $88.2 million, which is worth $155 million now. Today's actual budget: $93.6 million.

  • Insurance: Had 119 FTEs in 1990, compared to 37 today paid with state funds. Its 1990 budget was $5.2 million, which is worth $9.2 million now. Today's actual budget: $3.6 million.

The above agencies, like many across state government, have far less money and employees than they did in 1990. DHEC is half its size. The Attorney General's office has one third of the state funding it once had. The Treasurer's office is a quarter of its size in terms of dollars.

Sure some agencies -- the House, the Senate, Corrections, the Judiciary, PRT (Parks, Recreation and Tourism) -- kept up with or exceeded inflation over the years. But overall, state government is smaller, leaner and more efficient.

As lawmakers gear up for the session, they should make policy decisions based on fact, not myths of spin-doctors trying to convince them of something that doesn't exist.

Andy Brack is publisher of Charleston Currents and Statehouse Report, where this column first appeared. He can be reached at:

Resolutions for lawmakers are great

To the editor:

My compliments on your recent issue which outlined your suggestions for "five resolution for our S.C. legislators for 2013."

Each of the five listed have considerable merit and seem obvious enough that all five belong on the legislative priority list for 2013.

As a follow up, I urge you to devote one future issue for each of the five resolutions for expanded commentary

-- Dave Brown, Charleston, S.C.

  • Send your thoughts. If you have an opinion you'd like to share (150 words or less, please), send your letters to: We look forward to hearing from you!

Charleston Green Commercial

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on Charleston Green Commercial, a full-service commercial property management company that pays attention to detail, provides exceptional personal service and is committed to adding value to buildings. Offering professional property management, consulting and other services, the company strives to improve clients' bottom lines with superior service, accessibility, reliability and a wealth of knowledge of the Charleston real estate market. By blending use of proven contractors and contacts with environmentally-conscious practices, the company helps clients stay on the leading edge of commercial real estate practices. More.

Looking at the next step in health care
Special to Charleston Currents

JAN. 7, 2013 -- What do you do when the senior you love needs the next step in healthcare?

Or when the senior you love is experiencing life difficulties?

So many scenarios cross your mind, with the main one to ponder being "Where do we go and what do we do?"

America is graying and graying fast. By 2030, one of five people in the United States will be over the age of 65. In six years in SC, one-third of the population will be 65 and older!


With this issue, Charleston Currents will feature a monthly column about senior and aging issues co-written by Campbell and West Ashley elder care attorney Catherine LaFond. We hope you enjoy their views.

Elders are living longer and as they age, they need increased assistance -- 5o percent those over age 85 need support and assistance. Today, about 40 million Americans provide unpaid family care to someone over the age of 50 and one out of six Americans is involved in providing care. These are startling statistics.

Following are some simple steps to get you on the right path when faced with the devastating prospect of care in the long term:

  • First, establish what you view as the most immediate problem.

  • Once that has been done, seek out the resources that you will need, based on the current financial, medical and legal situation. For instance, will the senior need the services of a geriatrician to diagnose what is happening with your senior? Does the senior wish to stay at home or in the current living situation? What does the family want?

  • Evaluate current resources (don't forget Long Term Care Insurance), what can they afford, what family will be needed to assist.

  • Research resources: Meals on Wheels, respite care, community-based services that are pertinent to the senior.

  • Legal: Are there legal documents in place, such as powers of attorney, wills and trusts? Those documents can be your guide to the senior's wishes.

I would recommend soliciting the help of at least the following professionals: a geriatrician (physicians that specialize in older adults), an elder law attorney (attorneys who commit to staying on top of legal issues specific to the older adult), and a Certified Geriatric Care Manager (GCM). A GCM can assist with helping families to navigate through the maze of health care and works with community/federal/state resources to find the right one for each senior. They can save you time and money by not duplicating efforts and using their knowledge of available resources.

Aging can be trouble free, but when it's not, it is time to make decisions. I am hopeful you will make them beforehand and plan, plan, plan.

Carole Campbell, RN, CCM, LNHA, is a geriatric care manager with Coverage Complete, Inc., in Charleston.

What to do with your old gizmos

You can ditch your old iPod and help raise money in a creative way for the Charleston Friends of the Library.

Its special Media and Gadget Donation Drive to support Charleston's public libraries lasts through February 15. You're encouraged to donate your gently-used CDs, DVDs, LPs, video games and gadgets to any of the 16 public library locations in Charleston County.

The Friends, which raises money through book sales and membership to help fund over 7,000 Library programs each year that are free to the community, is partnering with and CCPL for this special donation drive. Donated items will be sold online or at future Friends book sales.

See one of the world's best camellia gardens

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is offering a special discount in January for garden lovers who want to enjoy the color of a camellia garden that has been named one of the best in the world.

Buy one garden admission for $15 and get the second one free. The special admission price can't be combined with other discounts, venue officials said.

In 2012, the International Camellia Society named Magnolia an International Camellia Garden of Excellence. Magnolia, which features 20,000 camellias, is one of only 30 gardens in the world and one of five in the United States that has received this prestigious award.

The 20-acre camellia garden isn't the only attraction at Magnolia.

For an additional cost of $8, visitors can stroll along an elevated walkway through the Audubon Swamp Garden. Guided tours, which also cost $8 each, include: a 30-minute tour of the main house filled with antiques and the history of the Drayton family; a 45-minute ride on a nature tram to see abundant wildlife; or a 45-minute presentation on the African-American contributions to Magnolia's gardens during the award-winning "From Slavery to Freedom" cabin tour.

Little Shop of Horrors comes to Charleston

What If? Productions' spin on the botanical musical nightmare "Little Shop of Horrors" opens January 25 at the American Theatre starring two of Charleston's biggest theatre stars Brian Porter ("Hedwig & the Angry Inch," "Cabaret") and Mary Fishburne ("Tell Me On A Sunday," "The House of Yes").

The show will feature a man-eating plant, a gas-huffing, torture-happy dentist and a cast of some of Charleston's finest performers all on stage in the restored American Theater. The producers say the show promises to be an evening of unforgettable live theatre.

You can see the show at the 446 King Street theatre at 8 p.m. on Jan. 25, 26, 30 and 31, and Feb. 1 and 2. It will show at 7 p.m. on Jan. 27 and Feb. 3.

Citadel hosts Lowcountry Writing Project

The Lowcountry Writing Project, Charleston's local affiliate of the National Writing Project, is now accepting applications for the 2013 Invitational Summer Institute.

The institute brings together teachers in all grade levels and all disciplines for four weeks of reading, writing, research and practice. Participants, invited on the basis of an application and a personal interview, meet each day to write, discuss their writing, read about and discuss effective ways to teach writing and use writing as a learning tool. They also research writing topics of their choice and improve their teaching practices by leading or taking part in demonstrations of effective teaching practices. Participants earn six hours of graduate credit. A grant covers the cost of tuition and books.

Most sessions will take place at The Citadel, with two Wednesday sessions at The Citadel Beach House. There will a pre-institute conference on March 16, along with a writing marathon on April 20. Applicants need to be able to attend all sessions and should not plan to take other classes concurrent with this institute.

Applications are due Jan. 25, followed by an interview at The Citadel on Jan. 28.

Send us a recommendation or review

  • An invitation: If you have a review or recommendation of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Andy Brack. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.

St. Bartholomew's Parish

One of the 10 original parishes established by the Church Act of 1706, St. Bartholomew's Parish, located in modern Colleton County, included the territory between the Edisto and Combahee Rivers. With the spread of rice cultivation, St. Bartholomew's numerous tidal rivers attracted planters who brought large numbers of African slaves to work their fields. During the second half of the eighteenth century the production of indigo further increased their wealth and demand for slaves.

The whites of St. Bartholomew's Parish could not agree on a location for a parish church, so several Anglican chapels of ease were built. In 1725 a chapel was authorized at Pon Pon, a neighborhood near where the Charleston road crossed the Edisto River. A second was authorized in 1745 at Edmundsbury, a village on the Ashepoo River.

During the antebellum era, the fertile soil and optimum growing conditions made the ACE (Ashepoo, Combahee, Edisto) River Basin a center of rice production in the state. In 1820 Colleton District, which included St. Bartholomew's Parish, had a population that was 83.6 percent African slaves.

The planters of St. Bartholomew's were known for their political radicalism, electing the outspoken fire-eater Robert Barnwell Rhett to represent them in the General Assembly and Congress. When a new state constitution was adopted in 1865, the parish system was abolished and St. Bartholomew's Parish was incorporated into Colleton District.

Excerpted from the entry by Michael S. Reynolds. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)

Cool-weather beauty

Librarian and photographer Cynthia Bledsoe of Charleston sent along this picture of a gorgeous white camellia. She says the cool-weather flowers are blooming earlier this year and that this year's white ones are spectacular. If you want to see lots of camellias, check out Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, as highlighted above in our Good News.


We encourage you to check out our sister publications:

Statehouse Report -- a weekly legislative forecast that keeps you a step ahead of what happens at the Statehouse. It's free.

SC Clips -- a daily news compilation of South Carolina news from media sources across the state. Delivered by email about the time you get to work every business day. Saves you a lot of money and time. Sign up for a free trial subscription today. -- a fun, interactive site where you can input your travel or retirement preferences and find places you might not have considered.

Georgia Clips offers a similar daily news compilation for the scores of newspapers in Georgia's 159 counties.

GwinnettForum -- an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.


Charleston Currents is provided to you twice a week by:

  • Editor and publisher: Andy Brack, 843.670.3996
  • Contributing editor, green: The Good Footprint
  • Contributing editor, money: Greg Garvan
  • Contributing editor, history: Douglas W. Bostick
  • Contributing editors, seniors: Catherine Lafond, Carole Campbell
  • Contributing photographer: Michael Kaynard

Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413


We hope you'll keep receiving the great news and information from, but if you need to unsubscribe, click here.

© 2008-2013, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. Charleston Currents is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.

Listen to The List on The Bridge, 105.5

Email driving you nuts?

The Coastal Community Foundation's resident techie, Tina Arnoldi, writes that her email inbox sometimes seems overwhelming. "I get added to lists I didn't want to be on or included in conversations that don't apply to me."

Here are some of her favorite tips for managing the insanity of email:

1. Go easy on the "reply all." Does everyone on the "To:" line need to know what you have to say? If not, then don't do it. Reply only to the sender.

2. Doodle. Ever get caught in an email avalanche trying to set up a meeting? Use which is a free tool that makes meeting scheduling much easier.

3. Use BCC. It doesn't mean you're being sketchy. It simply keeps someone informed without pulling them into an ongoing conversation (see #1).

4. Don't respond. If it's an FYI type of message, accept it and move on.

5. Use relevant subject lines and consider including your reason at the beginning of it: "FYI: .." "Response needed:.." "Meeting Tuesday…"

The human equation

"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."

-- Robert A. Heinlein



CALENDAR | permalink

Gibbes openings: Jan. 11. The Gibbes Museum of Art will open two special exhibitions: "Vibrant Vision: The Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman" will feature modern art in the Main Gallery through April 21, while "Witness to History: Civil Rights Era Photographs by James Karales will feature iconic images in the Rotunda Gallery through May 12. More.

(NEW) Preservation walk: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Jan. 12, College of Charleston's Historic Architecture, starts at Porter's Lodge, 66 George Street, Charleston. Features info about those who shaped one of the oldest colleges in the country. More.

Hunt & Habit: Jan. 12 through April 21, Charleston Museum, Meeting Street. The museum will present an original exhibition of women's and men's riding habits, hats and accessories from the 19th and early 20th century. More info.

Exploring the American Revolution: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 12, 2013, Washington Light Infantry armory, 287 Meeting Street, Charleston. A day filled with roundtable discussions about Southern campaigns during the Revolutionary War will occur with a "Dutch treat" lunch. Learn more online.

Introduction to climbing: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 12, James Island County Park. For people 14 and older, this course offers basics of climbing technique where small gains in technique lead to big gains in ability. More.

Oyster roast: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 13, Dill Sanctuary, James Island. The Charleston Museum will celebrate its 240th birthday with a big oyster roast with oysters by Ben Moise, a history walk and bluegrass music by Blue Plantation. $35 for members; $50 for nonmembers. More.

(NEW) Songs of Freedom: 7 p.m., Jan. 17, Charleston Library Society, 164 King Street, Charleston. The Un!Edited Concert Series will feature the sounds of the civil rights era in this "library concert sit-in" to commemorate the American struggle for equality. Tickets are $20. More.

(NEW) Views of the Coast: Jan. 19 to March 3, City Gallery, Waterfront Park. The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs will offer a show of works by macro-photographer David Batchelder and aerial photographer Yve Assad that was curated by Charles Wyrick. Opening reception: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jan. 19. More.

(NEW) Book signing: 5:30 p.m., Jan. 21, Preservation Society of Charleston Book & Gift Shop, 147 King St., Charleston. Kevin Eberle will discuss his book "Hampton Park Terrace" at an event that features wine, cheese and more. Read Kevin's article in Charleston Currents from last year. More:

(NEW) The Secret Garden: Jan. 25 to Feb. 3, Dock Street Theatre, Charleston. Charleston Stage will perform Frances Hodson Burnett's classic children's story in an original adaptation. Tickets are $22.50. More.

(NEW) Shuck-a-Rama: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Jan. 26, Gold Bug Island, Mount Pleasant. The Brain Injury Association of South Carolina will hold its second annual oyster roast to support traumatic brain injury prevention and education. Live music from Southwood. Oysters, hot dogs, beer, beer and wine will be served. Cost: $35 in advance; $45 at the door. More.

Bird walks: 8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested. Cost is $5. Walks also are conducted on James Island and Folly Beach.Learn more online.


We encourage you to follow us through Twitter @chascurrents.


4/1: Angstadt: Manatees

3/25: Benson, Noble: Envision SC
3/18: Hedden: Walking tours
Koroglu: Dervishes
Richards: Teddy Bear Picnic

Thomas: Storytelling event
Logo contest
Anderson: 2-1-1's 10th
Colwell: Teen pregnancy

1/28: Ross: Root of stress
Roberts: SEWE 2013
Begin with Books update
Vail: Jr. Achievement

12/31: Hester: Tech trends
Abrams: Holiday time
C. Brack: Help others
Sabine: Pluff Mud for kids
LaFond: Health directives

11/26: Stevens: Thank you letters
McConnell: Retirement plans
Franklin: Long-term care
Middleton: You make the call

10/29: Herrick: Saucy new book
Spencer: Invest in arts
Ferillo: Hope's promise
Brooks: Senior hunger
Belton: Florence Crittenton

Eberle: Hampton Park
Ringler: Child cancer
Craft: Our water
SC Dems: Convention


3/11: Preparing to attack
Blockade is broken
Stono Rebellion
Charleston Christmas
"Satan's Kingdom"
Christening ironclads
Beauregard's return
Second Battle of Manassas
Secessionville aftermath
Battle of Secessionville
Robert Smalls
Preparing for the attach
Yankee in charge?
Lee and Traveller
Stone Fleet


4/1: With no vision ...

3/25: Candidates spend $2M
Eating on $35/wk
Ads aren't worth much
Scary SC-1 survey

Old-timey customer service
New House Speaker?
Reject Riley tax hike
Episcopal schism

Nullification talk wrong
Tailgaters: Back off!
A lot to be proud of
Myth of big government

12/31: Mexican new year, more
Looking back at 2012
Action, not talk, on guns
Two off Bucket List
1-526 hoodwinking

11/26: Guilty pleasure
Earlier education
Lessons from the election
Battleground state

10/29: 16 days, Gov. Haley?
Our next mayor?
Remembering Peatsy
Haley's options
Reform ethics system

9/24: New TravelOrMove site
Cake and I-526
Raise gas tax
Doby on stamp, book


10/15: Guerrilla cuisine
Lots of cooking help
Pressure cookers
Thanks to Couric
On John Martin Taylor
Mystery of old cans
Eat like a Founding Father
Nuke that corn
Huguenot torte

Local connection for Star
Teaching mom a little
Cooking for crowd
Farmers markets opening

Hank's new cookbook
Enjoy Carter's Kitchen
Glass Onion to be on TV
Guacamole and the Bowl
Restaurant Week
Using leftover bubbly


2/25: Heirs' property
1/28: Two conferences

11/26/12: Consumerism
Can we be a better town
Permaculture, more
Bank on Charleston
Did you know?
Payday lenders hurt economy
Waterkeeper event
GrowFood difference
Earth Day festival
Lorax Project
More gardening tips
Food Waste program
Energy from farms
Turtles that fly
Art from beach trash

Coal ash, more
Boeing's solar farm
More eco-tours
More recycling ahead


4/1: Vacation ID tips

3/25: Park and play
On the menu
Still no response
No response

2/25: Five on storytelling
Earth Day duties
For the heart
Home energy tips

Cold water boating
On Ted Stern
SMART goals
Dealing with email

12/31: New Year's prep
Last-minute gifts
Gift of insurance
Creative finals
Great kid gifts

11/26: Giving back winners
Tech gift list
S.C.'s top golf courses
We're No. 2!

10/29: Anti-hacking tips
#1 best in world
Earthquake tips
Great U.S. streets
5 tech tips

Be tax-ready
One long swim
Clean water
Going postal


Here's the latest from our sister publication, Statehouse Report.




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